Whether you are a veteran anime fan or a virgin otaku, you probably have at least heard the name Haruhi somewhere before. That’s with good reason, because The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is one of the iconic hits of Anime post Y2K. The story revolves around force of nature Haruhi Suzumiya and her special club the SOS Brigade which is always in search of the mysterious and supernatural. However, the biggest mysteries revolve around the identity of the SOS Brigade members (Haruhi included), the improbable phenomena around the school and quite why sardonic, sarcastic leading man Kyon sticks around for all the nonsense.
Haruhi has gained fame for many reasons, but it’s a show that’s definitely the sum of its parts. It has crazy high school comedy, cute young romance and X-Filesy supernatural suspense-mystery all rolled into one. Be it time traveling, ESPers, androids…….or even demi-gods, there is always some major mystery surrounding Haruhi and her wacky friends of the SOS Brigade. Let’s take a look at six anime like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu.
Similar Anime to Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu / Similar Anime to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2009 – September 2009
First on our list of recs is Bakemonogatari. Just like Haruhi, it’s based off of a larger series of light novels and became a huge hit thanks in large part to its positively magnetic heroine, Hitagi Senjougahara. If Haruhi is fire, then Senjougahara is ice but all the same, they can be tough to handle for their respective male counterparts Kyon and Araragi. When we say ice though, we are talking bone chilling Siberian ice. When Araragi discovers that Senjougahara weighs no less than 5 kilograms due to a run in with a malicious spirit, she threatens him with a lightning quick staple (yea, from a stapler) to the cheek to keep him quiet!
Bakemonogatari’s calling cards are its unique ghosts and spirits, witty character dialogue and girls, lots and lots of cute girls. Most the various apparitions are unique spins on Japanese mythology. Mystery abounds between Araragi’s special vampiric powers and all the various lovely ladies he meets whom are faced with some sort of supernatural plight. Check it out to see just how far he goes to help them out without getting killed by the ghosts (and Senjougahara).
2. Medaka Box
- Episodes: 12 (Season One) + 12 (Season Two)
- Aired: April 2012 – June 2012 (S1), October 2012 – December 2012 (S2)
No shortage of butt kicking bodacious heroine-ism in Medaka Box, based off the Shonen Jump comics written by Nishio Ishin of Bakemonogatari fame. In this story, we follow the beautiful and charismatic Medaka Kurokami and her long time friend (and maybe more) Zenkichi Hitoyoshi. Medaka spearheads the School Suggestion Box project to solicit ideas to improve their school, but through choice and chance encounters with various super powered students, we learn of a dastardly plot to turn “Normal” non-powered students into super-power possessing “Abnormals” called the Flask Project. Only Medaka and Zenkichi can put a stop it.
Just like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, this one has a core cast of quirky high school characters with a bunch of special powers. Medaka earns special mention as a shonen anime heroine who doesn’t play second banana to her female counterparts. Heck, she’s one of the strongest characters in the entire show! Add to that, witty dialogue and dense story construction care of Ishin. An easy rec if you enjoy both Haruhi and Bakemonogatari.
Medaka Box Original Promotional Video
3. Sekimatsu Occult Gakuin (Occult Academy)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2010 – September 2010
Hankering for that specific mix of no-nonsense spunky heroine and crazy supernatural happenings for her to solve? If so, than Occult Academy is sure to scratch that very particular itch. Both shows take place in a school setting surrounded by crazy Twilight Zoney goings-on. However, while the supernatural in Haruhi leans more Sci-Fi, Occult Academy goes for straight fantasy with witches, hexes, ghosts and ghoulish. However, while Haruhi has a high interest in supernatural going on, Maya absolutely HATES it. Why is that? You will have to watch to find out!
What’s more if you can call Haruhi an assertive character, then leading lady Maya is a pure dominatrix. Charged with preventing the apocalypse by destroying the ancient artifact called the Nostradamus Key, Maya lets absolutely NOTHING get in her way. What’s even more fun than the occult mysteries is seeing Maya kickass both of the occult and her hapless sidekick, Bunmei. The show starts at a low boil but then really heats up halfway, don’t miss it!
Any Anime Like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya/ Any Anime Like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu?
4. Persona 4: The Animation
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2011 – March 2012
Persona 4 is based on the best selling Atlus video game from the creators of the Shin Megami Tensei series. In this series, we follow protagonist Yu Nakamura as he moves to a new school in the country. He quickly makes friends and gets used to his new surroundings until he learns of mysterious murders happening at the school. Yu also catches wind of the mysterious Midnight Channel; a TV channel that on rainy nights at the stroke of midnight captures the image of the next person to die. Yu and his friends start to investigate the mysterious events happening in and around town, awakening latent powers called Personas and solving mysteries only to uncover new ones.
Directed by Seiji Kishi who brought the world Assassination Classroom, Persona 4 is a stylish and moody action mystery series. While there is comedy, the main draw is the very mysterious plot. The story can move at a pretty fast clip but it makes up for it with appealing teenage characters and positively stylish action scenes. The show inherits the game’s strong character writing where the evil baddies are manifestations of the teens’ inner psyches. Also, watch out for the teens’ funky powers called Personas because they are a real highlight.
Official Persona 4 The Animation Trailer
5. Musaigen no Phantom World (Myriad Colors Phantom World)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2016 – March 2016
This is a rec that shares the same director and studio as Haruhi and much like it, is based on a light novel series. It also shares a unique spin on the supernatural high school adventure angle. In the not so distant future, humans have gained the ability to see and interact with ghosts and spirits called phantoms. For the most part, the majority of these beings are harmless but every once in awhile they can become a threat. Enter the Phantom Hunters from Hosea Academy. These bright young students utilize their special powers in order to subdue and ward off wayward phantoms.
This show is a beautifully made light hearted romp that features fun characters, cute girls and crazy ghosts. Kyoto Animation, the same studio that produced Haruhi, once again provides stunning animation that seems more at home in a theatrical film than a mere TV show. The student’s powers range from Marvel Comics level hand to hand combat to being able to summon mythical beings with a sketchpad to literally INHALING low level spirits and consuming them! If you are looking for another lighthearted supernatural romp, you cannot go wrong with this one!
Musaigen no Phantom World Trailer
6. Yamada-kun to Shichi-nin no Majou (Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2015 – June 2015
This show, based on the long running Kodansha comic follows high school punk Yamada who ends up one day accidentally falling on honor student Urara Shiraishi, kissing her AND SWITCHING BODIES. Turns out that Urara is a “witch”, one of many gal (and guy) students with special powers activated by smooching the other sex. Yamada, together with the wacky Supernatural Studies Club try to get to the bottom of the witches and their various powers.
Similarities with Haruhi are the crazy supernatural high school powers and all the comedy (and drama and romance) that unfolds. There is a myriad of interesting characters in the school and watching Yamada trying to get a handle on them all (and their powers) is tons of fun. Not only that, but the various witch powers help spice up the story as well. In addition to body switching, there is time travel, memory loss and even telepathy. Plus much like Haruhi and Kyon, you will fall in love with the odd but oh so sweet couple of Yamada and Urara.
Haruhi Suzumiya has become such a standard in anime fandom, the show literally has its very own CULT following. This is due to its colorful characters, wacky comedy, intriguing mystery, crazy supernatural/sci-fi action and a bevy of cute girls doesn’t hurt either. Of course for you more casual followers, the above shows provide a lot of the same charms of the SOS Brigade’s adventures. Whether you like high school comedy, supernatural action or young romance, these six shows should have you covered. Don’t forget to check back later for more Honey’s Anime Recommendations and leave your thoughts and comments below!